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We are reimagining our law enforcement major and changes are forthcoming Fall 2023 to meet new Minnesota State requirements.

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Law Enforcement BS Track 2

About The Program

Metro State’s School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (SLC) originated in the Minnesota legislature, by statute, to “advance the profession of law enforcement.” SLC has been a leader in professional peace officer education and applied police research for over 30 years. Our program, certified by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST Board), prepares students for the rigors of 21st Century policing by emphasizing social and racial justice, ethical, evidence-based policing, community engagement, and peace officer health and wellness.

We offer three possible law enforcement bachelor’s degree tracks:

  1. Track 1: Designed for students who wish to become “license-eligible” in the state of Minnesota. In accordance with Minnesota Rules 6700.0300, the POST Board has established learning objectives for professional peace officer education in four categories: (1) core competencies; (2) foundational knowledge; (3) the performance of peace officer duties and tasks; and (4) tools, techniques and tactics (also known as “skills”). The POST track covers all of them and upon degree completion, students may take the peace officer licensing exam.

  1. Track 2: Designed for students who have already earned an associate’s degree in law enforcement and/or are “license-eligible” in the state of Minnesota. This “Transfer Pathway” track allows students to upgrade their associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree and gain a competitive advantage for job placement in the field.

  1. Track 3: Designed for licensed peace officers, our Law Enforcement Major Completion Program (LEMCP) allows working peace officers to upgrade their associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree and gain a competitive advantage for career advancement in the field.

Our Mission

SLC is committed to providing peace officer education programs designed to eliminate systemic and structural inequities; developed using community and stakeholder input; and focused on equity-minded, evidenced-based, and data-informed practices. Our programs deliver, monitor, and assess education and training of culturally competent peace officers who are prepared to deliver justice and serve all people and communities with dignity and respect.

Student outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Apply key ethical and legal principles associated with policing in the 21st Century
  • Articulate and apply leadership principles associated with policing in the 21st Century
  • Apply criminological theories to practical situations law enforcement officers encounter
  • Analyze, evaluate, and apply concepts of diversity to personal, professional, and community interactions

Learning objectives for professional peace officer education are mandated by the POST Board.

Related minors

How to enroll

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Law Enforcement BS Track 2 now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Law Enforcement BS Track 2

More ways to earn your degree: Metropolitan State offers the flexibility you need to finish your degree. Through programs at our partner institutions, you can find a path to getting your Law Enforcement BS Track 2 that works best for you.

About your enrollment options

Program eligibility requirements

Transfer Pathways ensures that any Law Enforcement Transfer Pathway Associate of Science (AS) degree transfers into our Law Enforcement BS (Track 2) so students can easily earn a bachelor's degree. Students are eligible for the Law Enforcement BS (Track 2) if they have already completed an AS in Law Enforcement.

Students must submit an SLC Undergraduate Program Declaration Form once they have completed the following:

  • 30 credits
  • GELS/MNTC writing requirements
  • Cumulative Metropolitan State GPA of 2.25
  • SLC Pre-major Advising Workshop (PAW)

All criminal justice pre-majors should work closely with an SLC advisor. Please contact slcadvising@metrostate.edu

Courses and Requirements

SKIP TO COURSE REQUIREMENTS

For every undergraduate degree at Metro State:

  • 120 total credits
  • 40 upper-division credits
  • 30 credits completed at Metro State
  • 40 general education credits in 10 goal areas (Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, typically met by a community college A.A. degree)
  • 8 upper-division liberal studies credits
  • 3 Racial Issues Graduation Requirement (RIGR) credits
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0

For the Law Enforcement BS (Track 2):

  • 27 credits of required coursework, plus as many directed electives as needed to meet Metro State graduation requirements
  • 24 major credits must be taken at Metro State (i.e., courses with a CJS or LAWE prefix)
  • All major courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher

Notes:

  • The 24 major credits count toward the 30 credits completed at Metro State
  • Students are encouraged to explore other disciplines to obtain a minor or certificate or otherwise enhance professional development and meet Metro State graduation requirements
  • CJS 360 counts toward RIGR

Course Requirements (transfer pathway to reach 120 credits)

+ Foundation (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of academic research, critical thinking and professional development related to the discipline of criminal justice and law enforcement. Students learn to search, locate, retrieve, evaluate, and document research sources as well as prepare research papers using writing and citations styles expected in criminal justice and law enforcement courses. The course will also broaden students' understanding of the direct and indirect criminal justice professional opportunities and equip students with the tools to pursue careers in the field.

Full course description for Foundations in Criminal Justice

Note: CJS 101 and CJS 201 are prerequisites for most required CJS and LAWE classes and some directed electives.

+ Core (12 credits)

This course introduces the scientific research process and the data sources and methods used in criminology and criminal justice. It trains future professionals in policing, courts, and corrections to be critical consumers of data, statistics, and research with the goal of achieving "research literacy" - the ability to access, interpret, and evaluate empirical information and apply it to policy and practice decisions. Students explore research design, including the selection and specification of a research problem, and qualitative and quantitative methods. They also learn how to identify quality research for their work within the criminal justice system and how to judge if something is "evidence-based" or not.

Full course description for Research Methods in Criminal Justice

This course focuses on theories, concepts, narratives, and myths of crime and delinquent behavior. Contemporary issues and controversies within the criminal justice field are explored in social, political, and economic contexts. Special emphasis is placed on the roles of race, class, gender, and culture in relation to the etiology, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency. This course is committed to general theoretical debate, examination of the interrelation between criminological theory and research, and empirical analyses of policy and practice.

Full course description for Criminology and Public Policy

This course provides an in-depth examination of the opportunities and challenges of delivering criminal and juvenile justice services in a multicultural society. The course provides students with a knowledge of the diversity that exists in communities, as well as criminal and juvenile justice agencies. It provides both theoretical and practical information to respond effectively to diversity issues. Examples of community issues include conflict resolution, crime prevention, victimization, and strategies to improve community relationships. Significant focus is given to issues of race, racism, and systemic racism.

Full course description for Diversity in Criminal Justice

+ Policing Focus Area (4 credits)

Pick one:

This course critically examines the (sub)culture of policing (i.e., the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors exhibited by those in law enforcement) and the representation of policing in culture (i.e., the reproduction of media propaganda that is favorable to law enforcement). This course explores complex interactions between police culture and issues relating to racism and police use of force, ethical policing, and officer safety and wellness. This course also introduces the concept of police abolition, a process that requires communities to create alternatives to policing in the event that police culture cannot be reformed.

Full course description for Police Culture

+ Community Engagement (4 credits)

Pick one:

The purpose of this course is to educate and encourage the development of globally competent and active citizens and leaders who will be able to contribute to improving social issues. The course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be engaged, responsible, and effective members of a globally interdependent society. Students will reflect on their role as an active citizen in a democracy while exploring how social, racial, political, geographical, and other factors influence current and future challenges a community needs to address. This course will have a community engaged learning component.

Full course description for Citizenship: Community Involvement

This course is designed to allow students to develop a working understanding and knowledge of Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice looks at the concept of justice through nontraditional and alternative viewpoints. Rather than focus on "what is the crime, who did the crime and what should the punishment be," Restorative Justice focuses on "who has been harmed, what was the harm and who is responsible to repair the harm." Students will examine Restorative Justice from historical, sociological, criminological and psychological perspectives. Throughout the course, a wide range of specific "restorative practices" will be studied, reviewed and analyzed. Some of the concepts the course will explore are trauma and healing, conflict transformation, issues related to juvenile justice, and alternative processes such as Victim-Offender Dialogue and the Circle Process. This course will have a community engaged learning component.

Full course description for Restorative Justice

+ Capstone (4 credits)

Pick one:

With an emphasis on experiential learning, the capstone course allows students to combine an internship experience in a criminal justice setting with academic work to support career pathways, synthesize undergraduate experiences, and develop deeper understanding of criminal justice issues. During the semester, students must complete at least 160 hours of service at an internship field site. Note: With support from their academic advisors, students are responsible for securing their own internship opportunities and must do so one month prior to registering for CJS-489.

Full course description for Criminal Justice Capstone Internship

Note: Students take capstone during their last semester. CJS 301, CJS 320, and CJS 360 are prerequisites for CJS 489 and CJS 490.

+ Directed Electives

Elective credits will vary by student and some students may receive credit for prior learning. In this track, students select major electives in consultation with their academic advisor. Electives may include CJS or LAWE courses, but also courses in other disciplines to obtain a minor or certificate or otherwise enhance professional development.